Most consumers (68 percent) across the world closely monitor the type and amount of fat and oil in packaged food products, according to a recent global FATitudes study by Cargill.
The study confirmed that consumers track what goes into their bodies by closely reading labels of packaged food products.
FATitudes is a study conducted by Cargill each year to learn more about awareness among consumers related to fats and oils found in packaged foods.
This year, approximately 6,600 primary household grocery shoppers were surveyed in 12 countries, including the United States, India, Germany, China, Brazil, the United Kingdom.
The study showed when determining which packaged foods to purchase, consumers in India report that the amount of fat is nearly as important (85 percent) as the type of oil (87 percent) in their purchase decisions.
A majority of global consumers report the amount of fat (70 percent) and type of oil (67 percent) are important factors when determining which packaged foods to purchase.
The survey also revealed that how often consumers read labels differs by geography.
Chinese consumers pay the most attention (89 percent), and German consumers monitor the least (48 percent).
Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of US consumers report avoiding certain fats or oils, and among those who rank as “clean-label seekers,” 83 percent report avoiding certain fats or oils, like saturated and trans fats.
Olive oil tops the list in every country for impact on purchase and perceptions of healthfulness in packaged foods, followed by fish and avocado oils.
A vast majority of global consumers, 93 percent, were aware of omega-3s, which is an important nutrient with many health benefits some consumers do not get through their typical diet.
"Food is becoming increasingly personalised; consumers are basing their purchasing decisions on specific ingredients. At the same time, society is driving food ingredient companies to develop more options for health-conscious consumers. Using consumer insights helps us innovate in ways that balance the societal pressures with individual preferences to create healthful, sustainable and cost-effective products," said Florian Schattenmann, CTO and Vice President of Innovation and R&D, Cargill.Cargill markets consumer brands of edible oils such as Nature Fresh, Gemini, Sweekar, Leonardo Olive Oil, Rath and Sunflower brand of hydrogenated fats.It also markets wheat flour under the Nature Fresh brand name.